There’s an exotic allure about the coast of North Africa. Slender minarets pierce the skyline, while bustling souks sell everything from mounds of colorful spices to intricately patterned carpets and handmade leather goods. Cities like Casablanca and Tangier have a European feel, but a distinctly African vibe. Avant-garde architecture meets ancient sea walls and the tangled streets of medinas, while the desert is never far away.

In Tangier, explore French café culture and sip mint tea in arty Ville Nouvelle, or head to Chefchaouen, a village painted in brilliant shades of blue. Casablanca’s highlights include the ornate Hassan II Mosque and the tangled streets and leafy squares of the old Medina.

Alexandria, meanwhile, is a cosmopolitan, cultured city with a sweeping, 10-mile waterfront boulevard, the Corniche, and a colorful souk. It’s home to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, one of the world’s most impressive centers of learning and literature.

In these African cruise ports, you’ll have the privilege of seeing some of the most magnificent sites of the ancient world—and you’ll gain an insight into a fascinating culture, too.

Alexandria, Egypt

Tangier, Morocco

Casablanca, Morocco

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